Idaho Wine Celebrates 15 Years of Industry Growth
The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the state’s first federal wine designation. In April of 2007, the Snake River Idaho AVA became the state’s first AVA, and now 70 wineries that call the state home in 2022. Idaho wineries harvest more than 2,000 tons of grapes each year off of 1,300 vineyard acres and produce 131,250 cases of wine. According to an economic impact study funded by the Idaho Wine Commission, the state’s wine industry contributes $210 million to the state economy each year.
However, Idaho’s rapid population growth has made available farmland slim and the agricultural industry stressed, especially in the southwestern region. Sean Ellis with the Idaho Farm Bureau says while there is great potential for growth in the wine industry, there are a many challenges that lie ahead.
“You would think there's a lot of room for astronomical growth there. The problem is it's kind of a chicken and egg thing, you need more to sell more wine, you need more wine grapes, and to get people to plant more wine grapes, you got to sell more wine. It's something that the industry is currently figuring out right now, just based on the 8000 square miles, it's one of the biggest AVAs of the nation.”
Two additional AVAs have been designated in Idaho: the Lewis-Clark Valley AVA and the Eagle Hills AVA.
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